Six types of introducer

As a small business owner, I’m willing to bet you have a network running to 100’s of people and a close network of a few dozen people you know and trust.

When you are out, how often do you introduce the people within this network to people you meet?

Some people are serial introducers. They are literally introducing people to each other on a daily basis. They believe that making these introductions will be useful to a good number of the connections, even if a few of the introductions don’t work out to be of any use.

At the other end of the scale, there are people who don’t make introductions, for a number of reasons:

For some, this is because they want the introductions to come their way from others first. The problem here is that the other party is often looking for the same thing and so no introductions ever get made.

For some, it is because they don’t think about others whilst they are networking or talking to their clients; they are too busy looking for opportunities for themselves. They may get a few introductions from the serial introducers but not for long.

Between these two there are a number of different introducer types:

  • The fee earner is happy to make introductions but only when there is a financial return available. Introductions are rarely because there are synergies, but because there is a sales opportunity that could generate 5-10% as a reward.
  • The name dropper talks about lots of potential introductions that could be hugely beneficial but the introduction rarely actually happens. You may have heard the phrase “I really should introduce you to…”. It’s a real shame this person never carries through. If they were able to make the connections they talk about, they’d almost certainly get a lot of good introductions back.
  • The dead cert only introduces when they believe it’s basically a done deal. They make few introductions and then only to a small number of people who they have always made introductions to. This is the way they know which introductions are going to work. In my experience, this is usually a one-way street; architects to builders for example.
  • The reasoner is the final type of introducer. The number of introductions they make varies over time and the quality of the introduction can vary. Sometimes they are simply “this could be useful”. Sometimes they may be “you two really should talk” and sometimes it’s “this person can really help you out”. They are on the lookout for potential introductions but sometimes they miss them. They don’t worry too much about this and can always go back and make a belated introduction.

Some of these people are better than others but the good thing is that they are trying to help in their own way. The question is: which one are you?